MOTC Continues Blaming China Airlines for Cigarette Scandal|不滿華航消極 交部:謝世謙若請辭會同意


The cigarette smuggling scandal involving President Tsai Ing-wen's security entourage continues to snowball. China Airlines, which operated Tsai's charter, held a press conference on July 25 to provide information. The Ministry of Transportation and Communications, however, said China Airlines wasn't clear enough and if the airline doesn't take proactive action to handle the matter, the ministry will approve the resignation of the airline chair. Transportation and Communications Minister Lin Chia-lung canceled his public appearances at the last minute on July 27 and his aides say the ministry is holding internal meetings to decide how to punish the airline.


Where will the blame fall for the cigarette smuggling scandal involving President Tsai Ing-wen's security entourage? Both Vice President Chen Chien-jen and Deputy Transportation and Communications Minister Huang Yu-lin fled from the media without answering the question. Transportation and Communications Minister Lin Chia-lung, meanwhile, canceled his scheduled appearance at the opening ceremony of a culinary expo just half an hour before it began. The ministry has put the blame for the scandal squarely on the doorstep of China Airlines, and is now criticizing the airline for not giving a "thorough" enough explanation at its press conference on the 25th.

If he doesn't let the truth come out, the Ministry of Transportation and Communications will ask him to take responsibility for it.

The ministry says if China Airlines doesn't proactively handle the situation, it will approve the resignation of airline Chair Hsieh Shih-chien. The ministry further said the airline should find out who started the practice of cigarette smuggling on presidential charters even if Hsieh is replaced.

The personnel that were complicit over the years, including when and who and when they started working with national security agencies to do this -- all this must be made clear.

A China Airlines spokesperson says duty-free sales on chartered flights began years ago and the airline will conduct a full investigation.



華航私菸案如何究責?副總統陳建仁沒有多做回應,陪同的交通部次長黃玉霖也快閃離開,這場美食展活動,交通部長林佳龍原本要出席開幕典禮,卻在活動前半小時臨時取消,華航私菸案延燒,交通部對於週四華航的對外說明仍然不滿意,認為還是沒有講清楚。

交通部次長 王國材表示:「如果他沒有讓真大白,這個部分交通部會請他負起責任。」

交通部說重話,華航如果不更積極處理,只要董座謝世謙提出請辭,交通部會同意,交通部表示,免稅菸銷售無上限,又在機邊交貨,究竟是誰開的先例,華航應該要認真找,就算董座換人,也會繼續查到底。

交通部次長 王國材表示:「歷年來涉入配合的這些人員,包括什麼時候?什麼人開始配合國安單位來做這些事情?一定要交代清楚。」

對此,華航董事長謝世謙並未接聽電話,無法取得回應,華航發言人表示,專機免稅品銷售是多年來作業慣例,內部還在進行資料蒐集,需要時間,華航會全力配合調查。

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